Purple Haze

Not your father’s Purple Haze. This is your Irish granny’s Purple Haze. If your Irish granny was the legendary Maire Brennan, that is. I suppose she’s referring to some mystical misty dell, not whatever drug references most of us associate the phrase ‘purple haze’ with. It’s all about the atmosphere, anyway, which to me feels very cozy. This is prime teatime music, and I find it very comforting. I guess a lot of people find Irish music ‘comforting’ and it’s kind of a coffeehouse cliche, but still… Cliches have to come from somewhere, after all.

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No One Talks

And now for some relaxing spa music. Honestly, I’m not at all sure how Celtic music came to be associated with spas, but we do tend to think of it as definitely conducive to relaxation, and vaguely ‘good for you’ on a spiritual level. Moya Brennan has been part of the Irish music revival since it began in sixties, and remains one of its best known figures. She’s seen her musical heritage go from about as unhip as a set of muddy Wellies, to pretty edgy, to widely respected and commercially viable. You can thank her for making the harp a pop instrument, and you can blame her sister for that crap you hear at the spa.

Never Stray Far Away

Presenting the beautiful, headache alleviating, nymphlike voice of Maire Brennan. She may have been overshadowed by her more album selling sister Enya, but in my eyes, Maire is the real legend. (And a charming lady as well.) The market for traditional Irish music is not huge, compared to the market for fembots, but in that market Maire Brennan and Clannad are pillars.